Saturday, May 31, 2014

Can You See Him?

Can you see him? Way up there? Ready to ride. Ready to go.

Buddy was ready to go camping, and more importantly to him, riding this past Memorial weekend.

We went to Soggy Bottom Campground again. We had a blast, got muddy, made new friends, and came home dead tired.

And Buddy enjoyed every minute of it. In fact, I got on the Ranger to unload it from the trailer when we got home and he jumped right up on there again, ready to ride.

And the kids came up with our "hicks from the sticks" idea this year.

Here is what our camping neighbors fixed.

And here is the Boy with pepperonis on a stick. They also did grapes over the fire, on a stick.

Yes, I'm still shaking my head. But they really seemed to enjoy it.

Here are a few photos of the campground area. And they had something new. Pink porta-potties "for women only". Seriously. They even said it on the doors. Unfortunately, they didn't have any more space inside to maneuver.

Monday, May 26, 2014

It Has Begun

The gardens have been planted, except for the pumpkins. We wait a bit for those so they are ready in the fall and not too soon.

Tomatoes. There are 10 plants in here.  I have Mr Stripey and Oxheart. I've had good luck with both varieties. The Mr Stripey are sweet and huge, pinkish with yellow stripes. The Oxheart are excellent producers, huge pinkish-red, and very few seeds.

The strawberry bed. There are already blooms and one tiny green strawberry.

The herb garden, with some new additions. This year I found cinnamon basil. It smells like black licorice. Yummm. I also planted two types of sage, some other basil, some asparagus roots, and sugar snap peas on the trellis.

This bed has two cherry tomato plants, two pepper plants, cucumbers on both trellises, spinach, and radishes.

 Here is one of my cucumbers coming up. It's Green Ice. I was told they don't get bitter no matter how big they get, do great in warmer weather, and have very few seeds.

 This is all that's left of the toilet paper seed mats I made and posted about, after only one rain.

I'll post pictures of the other tomato garden by the shop and the big vine garden out back later.

Thursday, May 22, 2014

Swimming Pool Landscaping

Over this past weekend, Mr Farmer and I finished up our landscaping around the pool area.

Before I show you pictures, I want to explain my journey in picking the unusual stepping stones.

On the way to town one day, I looked out the window and saw a huge, I do mean huge, base log pushed into the ditch. The shape was beautiful. In my head I pictured it sliced into an 8 inch thick disc and then cut in half to make a half-moon shape. Can you picture it?

Anyway, my plan was to make steps out of them to help in going down the little hill by the pool. Excitedly I told Mr Farmer my plan. I was sure he was going to be as excited as I was about my brilliant little idea and my words raced from my lips.

 And here's what I got from him. "Hmmm. Sounds weird." Not what most people say when they are excited about a brilliant plan. I tried again to get him to see my vision. And I got, "We don't need steps there. It's just a little hill." Well, obviously he's not the one with arthritis! However, he did agree to humor me and look at the beautiful stump on our way home. He might even slow down a bit in order to see it. I was winning him over. Can you tell?

Well, we drove by it and he agreed with me that it was a beautiful stump. But he didn't agree that we could stop and ask about it or even use the idea. It just wasn't necessary.

Now, I will let you in on the inner workings of our marriage. Usually Mr Farmer is right about everything. It's really quite annoying. He thinks and contemplates and plans. I'm the dreamer that jumps into things before thinking them all the way through. Knowing this, I typically share my ideas and count on him to make them work or listen to him when he says no. Typically. Except when large stumps are involved. Or decorating.

So, I decided I was going to have half-moon stump discs for steps by my pool. The next day I headed to the Amish saw mill. From our discussion of my "crazy idea", I knew I needed a hard wood so that it would last a few years. As we pulled into the lot, I ogled the large logs piled high on either side of the drive. I preferred the ones with a "fluted or frilly" end. I thought they would give an interesting look to the steps. One of the boys was outside and listened to what I needed. He took me out back to the scrap pile. I explained further that I needed hardwood. On to another scrap pile. Then, I saw it. A huge log with a rotten center. I asked about it and he said it was oak. Hardwood-check. However, the outer edge was just round. No fluting or prettiness. But beggars can't be choosers so I asked him to cut me a couple. We decided to only cut halfway through to the center rotten part.

I headed home with my new steps. And an extra hedge log I found. I showed Mr Farmer when he got home from work. He still showed no excitement, but did agree they were pretty.

Anyway, this is what we ended up doing. And I still don't have any steps.

I had to make another trip for more pieces. Then, I sanded them smoother for wet little bare feet. But I left a bit of roughness so they wouldn't be slippery. I still need to seal them. It turned out so pretty! I'm always looking for something different and cheap. All together, this project cost us about $75. Of course, we had the edging bricks, plastic, and rocks already or it would have been just over a hundred. Still, it's a pretty good price for such a large area of landscaping.

Even though I didn't get my pretty outer edge, the inner edges where it had rotted away, made an extremely unique and pretty design.

And here is the extra log I brought home. I just loved the wavy design on it. It's kind of hard to see the design, but it goes along the entire length of the log and reminded me of water. Fitting for near the pool.

Monday, May 19, 2014

A Home Restaurant

A few days ago, Sissy and I were at an auction. The younger two kids stayed home and Mr Farmer got home after work (noon on a Saturday). He came home to Baby's restaurant. She had a sign on the doorway.

She also had menus made up for dad, the Boy, and herself- each labeled with their individual names.

She let them order. The boy ordered the Ramen noodles. Baby told him she wasn't making that and he had to have the peanut butter and jelly. So did dad. She then told him it was going to be slow getting their order. Mr Farmer asked why since he and the Boy were the only ones in there. She replied, "I was swamped earlier and I'm still recovering." That's my baby. She has a quick wit, especially for her age.

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Once There Was A Little Girl

And then she turned 40.

 Yep, I turned 40.

Sissy's gift.

The Boy's gift.

Baby's gift, which she bought from a man at an auction.

Mr Farmer bought me a device to remove hair from my legs. I'm not sure what he's trying to tell me. Actually, he's being super kind because I have a reaction every time I shave and I itch for about three days afterward. I have developed infections on my legs from the irritation, too. He's so sweet, he actually uses the device on my legs for me. How many men would do that?

I have a wonderful family that worked all day to make sure I was having a good day.

Thursday, May 8, 2014

Seed Mats- A Legacy

Today, I made seed mats for my radishes. I started this years ago after reading this tutorial.

The woman behind that blog and the information was lovingly referred to as Granny. Through blog comments and emails, Granny became a special friend of mine. She "got" my humor and even appreciated it. She always tried to steal Buddy, our dog, even though she lived so far away. She also tried to get Mr Farmer to travel out there to do some chores for her. I wish now that I had sent her that loaf of fresh bread she always wanted when I'd post about baking it.

Granny had so much gardening knowledge that she passed along to those who read her blog. She walked me through planting potatoes for the first time last year. I thought of her the other day when we planted our potatoes for this year.

Granny passed away last night from a quick battle with cancer.

I will always remember her humor and think of her when planting my gardens.

So, in honor of her, I will pass along her seed mat tutorial in the above link and in the post to follow below.

First, get the cheapest toilet paper, napkin, or paper towels available to you. Grab your seeds, a marker, a ruler, and white school glue (water clean up).

I used strips of toilet paper this year. Measure out and draw lines according to the spacing directions on your seed packet.

Now, at each intersection, place a drop of glue and then a seed.

After doing a couple of these, I decided I wanted to speed things up. So, I stacked three strips on top of each other. I measured out my lines on the top one.

Then, I took my marker and made a dark dot at each intersection making sure to let it bleed through the toilet paper.

Now I just had to put a drop of glue on each dot and place the seed.

I let the seed mats dry and will put them in the garden tomorrow. I'll just place them on the soil and cover them with a light covering of soil and water them in. The toilet paper and the glue will disintegrate, leaving only the seeds- in perfect lines. This also keeps the tiny seeds from blowing all over when trying to plant them on a windy day.